Country’s export earnings in the July-October period of this financial year 2017-18 grew by 7.03 per cent to $11.50 billion compared with that of $10.79 billion posted in the same period of last financial year 2016-17.
Export earnings in the month of October of FY18 grew by 6.42 per cent to $2.84 billion from $2.71 billion in the same month of FY17, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Thursday.
Experts and exporters said the export growth in the four months of this financial year was still lower than the target set by the government for the period and policy support was a must for the export sectors to achieve the annual target at the end of the year.
They, however, expressed satisfaction over the growth as the readymade garment sector’s export started to rebound overcoming the last year’s negative trend.
‘It’s a good sign that the global business is picking up and Bangladesh’s export earnings growth has started to rebound overcoming the slowdown in the last fiscal year,’ Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman said.
He, however, said that though the global business was picking up, the prices of products were not increasing and Bangladesh’s export earnings growth was volume driven.
Without productivity-driven growth it would not be possible for Bangladesh to remain competitive in the global market, Mustafiz said.
The EPB data showed that earnings from RMG export in the July-October period of FY18 grew by 6.99 per cent to $9.43 billion from $8.82 billion in the same period of FY17.
Export earnings from the woven in the four months grew by 3.85 per cent to $4.45 billion compared with that of $4.28 billion posted in the same period of FY17.
The knitwear export grew by 9.95 per cent to $4.98 billion from $4.53 billion.
Export earnings from jute and jute goods increased by 16.46 per cent in the four months of FY18 to $345.01 million from $296.26 million in the same period of FY17.
‘Achieving the expected earnings growth in RMG export is being hindered due to failure in maintaining lead time and shortage of gas and electricity,’ Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told New Age on Thursday.
He said that the knitwear, a sub-sector of the RMG sector, achieved a satisfactory growth in export while the woven sub-sector had been struggling as buyers had cut volume of orders due to exporters’ failure to ship products in time.
Expressing his worries over the future of woven sub-sector, Babu said that without efficient port and strong backward linkage industry the growth of the woven sector would not rebound.
In most of the cases, exporters import woven fabrics from buyers and brands (who place order) on the cost and freight basis but due to congestions in the Chittagong port the shipment takes long time and buyers and brands have to pay extra charge for the shipment, he said.
‘The cost of buyers for producing woven wear in Bangladesh has been increasing due to the additional shipment charge and time,’ Babu said.
He said that the government should provide necessary policy support to the exporters to establish strong backward linkage industry for the woven sub-sector.
Export of agriculture products grew by 20.22 per cent to $203.21 million from $169.03 million while earnings from home textiles export increased by 20.37 per cent to $260.79 million from $216.66 million.
The EPB data showed that exports of leather and leather products in the four months of FY18 fell by 0.02 per cent to $428.44 million compared with that of $428.51 million in the same period of FY17.
Export earnings from leather-footwear export increased by 5.68 per cent to $202.20 million while leather products fetched $166.90 million with 13.78 per cent growth in the period.
According to the EPB data, the export earnings from engineering products in the four months of FY18 fell by 19.82 per cent to $96.30 million from $120.10 million in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Exports of frozen food and fish in the July-October period of FY18 grew by 15.41 per cent to $226.91 million from $196.61 million in the same period of FY17.
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